Motorola - RAC ET
Motorola - RAC ET




The RAC ET phone was a collaboration between Motorola, the UK’s RAC and the Cellnet mobile network. The RAC is a motoring organisation that provides roadside assistance to motorists who subscribe to its services. The ET phone was intended to be given to RAC members who subscribed to the organisation's highest tier of membership and then used in the case of emergency. Motorola also had a similar cooperation with the Automobile Association (AA) to offer the AA Callsafe Bag Transportable. It was introduced in 1992 and was a derivative of the Motorola Traveller Series of products first introduced in 1988. The Traveller Series was a derivative of Motorola’s Transportable series of products of which the Motorola 5000X was an example. All these devices were based upon Motorola’s in-vehicle mobile phone products, which were modular and comprised of a transceiver, antenna, handset and a wiring/interconnection harness /connector. The basic Traveller product, also known as the bag phone, included a battery, a cigar adapter, a phone connector, a transceiver, a handset and of course a bag. These were the minimum number of components required to have a mobile telephone that could be used in the same way as a portable mobile phone, in that it could be carried around. The bag phone was popular for three reasons:
  • It was a low-cost solution
  • It could be taken from vehicle to vehicle and also carried around
  • It offered superior performance to portable phones due to the increased power output of the transceiver
The device was essentially a mobile phone that was supposed to be installed in a vehicle. As a result, it had 2.8 watts of power output as opposed to portable phones which only had a power output of 0.6 watts. This meant that call quality and the ability to make calls, in what at the time was a developing mobile network, was improved. This was particularly important to the RAC as the phone was being promoted as an emergency/safety device.